Fragile Families in Urban Essex

The Fragile Families in Urban Essex project was designed by Michelle DeKlyen, Ph.D., Princeton University, to provide detailed information about the lives of parents and young children to local community leaders, service providers, and policy makers. Data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study are analyzed and disseminated through presentations and research briefs, so that they can be used to benefit the families of the urban Essex area.


Newark Reports

Newark Baseline Report July 2000

Newark's First Follow-Up Report June 2005

Early Language Development in Urban Essex September 2006

Early Language Development in Urban Essex (Short Version) September 2006

Unmarried Fathers' Involvement With Their Young Children June 2007

Three-quarters of the babies born in Newark hospitals have unmarried parents, nearly half of these unwed mothers live below the poverty line, and over 93% are minorities. These babies are more likely than not to be “at risk.” However, they differ in important respects from children in other representative American cities. For example, they are more likely to be African-American, and, if Hispanic, they are more often Puerto Rican, Caribbean, or South American in origin. In their first year of life, they are more likely to suffer from asthma and to have been hospitalized overnight. Their mothers earn less from work but also receive less public assistance. Their fathers are more likely to have spent time in jail, especially for drug offenses, but are also more likely to be involved with their infants. Appropriate analyses and dissemination of the results of a five year study of representative families with young children can enhance our understanding of these families and ultimately aid in informing policy and planning services.

This study focuses in particular on the resources of and relationships between unmarried parents and the ways in which government policies affect their lives. It provides extensive and previously unavailable information about these parents, the well-being of their children, and the factors that encourage or discourage family formation.

Fragile Families in Urban Essex is supported by grants from the Fund for New Jersey, the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, the Schumann Fund for New Jersey, and the Sagner Family Foundation.